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What happened in Newbridge leading up to throw-in had been of the GAA’s great soap operas, played out in front of the country for all to throw in their two cents.
When these two sides come face to face on May 13 in Castlebar if there are half as many talking points as in this game, the paying punters will have got their monies worth.
Athlone bowed out of this year’s championship when a late Downs goal condemned them to an agonising one-point defeat in their quarter-final replay in TEG Cusack Park on Saturday afternoon.
There’s no easy way to win an All Ireland, and boy are Mayo doing it the hard way. It’s back to headquarters on Saturday for another swing at Kerry as the look to book an All Ireland final date in Croke Park in September.
It’s a long way from the business end of the year, but the determination shown by Mayo to dig out what looked like an impossible victory as the game moved towards the end of normal time and they trailed by five points is something that will warm the spirits of the Mayo faithful ahead of their league opener against Monaghan in a fortnights time.
When Matthew Flanagan drove the ball over the Louisburgh bar five minutes from time from a free well out beyond the 45m line in MacHale Park on Sunday, it looked like the McDonnell cup would be making the short 11km journey out the road to Balla for the Winter. But Louisburgh hadn’t read that particular script and the seasiders dug deep from there on in and through injury time to rally and hit the final two points of the day to seal a historic win for John Kelly’s outfit.
Goals win games the saying goes and the Galway minors proved that on Sunday in Croke park when they raised the green flag four times over the hour. Jeffrey Lynskey’s charges gave the Galway faithful the perfect start to the day with a performance of power and poise. Full forward Evan Niland finished the day with nine points to his name, while goalkeeper Darragh Gilligan put in a top class performance keeping out Tipperary on a number of occasions when the game was still in the melting pot.